As I try to make my way to that Ordinary World, I will learn to survive.

Here’s hoping everybody out there is having a happy day, first off, whether you’re celebrating Baby Jesus having a birthday, or getting together in the winter to get cool shit for free and hang out with friends, family, and loved ones, if you’re commemorating the re-dedication of a most holy place, or marking the Winter Solstice… even if you’re just airing your grievances, I hope every one of you is happy today.

Me?  I think I’ll look back at today a few weeks from now and see that things were pretty good overall, but right now I’m pretty stressed and irritated.  By quarter past 9, I figured it was late enough that my folks would be up, that my grandma would certainly have been knocking down the door — she’s gotten up about quarter to 5 every morning for at least 25 years, and doesn’t seem to ever clue in that nobody else likes being awake before 10 — at least — unless something requires more than twenty stitches and a day in ICU.

Got down to the living room and the only one I saw was my sister.  We sat and talked for nearly an hour, and it was such a fun time; I had forgotten how much I missed those chats.  Around 10:45, my mom got up, and my dad walked in too — apparently he’d been up and awake for a few hours just sitting and listening to country music Christmas crap; at least he had the decency to shut his door and keep the volume down.  Grandma still wasn’t here, and my dad suddenly says “It’s time to open presents.”  Wait, what?  We invite her to spend the holiday with us, so she isn’t stuck by herself and lonely for Christmas… but screw her, we’re going to dig in whether she’s here or not!  Don’t know about any of you guys, but to me, that’s just completely fucking unacceptable.

Well, any conflict was prevented by a knock at the door, and grandma walked in saying, “I wondered if you guys were ever getting up — I’ve been sitting and waiting in my car over half an hour now for you to open your curtains!”  Everybody pointed out that even in warm weather those curtains stay closed… they’re broken and have been for at least 5 years.  “Well, you could have at least told me…” she scowled.

We got settled in and started passing out the very few gifts under the tree… I don’t think anybody got more than 3 items each.  I got the two things I’d asked for: a 2GB microSD card so I can have one for both my phone and my Nintendo DS, and a nice set of 5.1 surround speakers for my computer.  Also got a Hickory Farms gift box, one of my favorites, and a box of gourmet crackers to eat with it.

I ended up giving my dad the mp3 player originally intended for RPJ, and when he had it unwrapped, I mentioned to him that it needed a firmware upgrade to correct some issues and to properly allow files to be transferred via drag and drop, without using Windows Media Player to manage all of his audio.  I think I might have some small clue about how that player works — I’ve spent long hours on many days over the past several months researching that player; it’s also a nearly identical model to my own.  He nods, says okay, and on things go.

A bit later, sick of listening to my grandma’s rambling, pointless stories, I wandered in to offer my dad a hand getting his mp3 player set up.  He’s got it plugged into his PC in the only available mode with the outdated firmware, which shows the player as a special device and is only intended to be manipulated via a media management app… and he’s got the hidden system folders expanded and is dropping audio files into the area that (if he’d let me link him to the user manual, I could point out where it says this) you *must not* write files, as this may permanently damage your player!  I said something to the effect of, “that may or may not–” where he cuts me off and says “It already *is* working.  I drag my files over, it boots up and refreshes the database, and plays them just fine!”

I didn’t have a chance to point out that in the current mode, Database Refresh should not be occurring; this indicates some error in the setup — he’s already shooing me out of his room so he can keep breaking… er, “playing with” his exciting new toy.

I’m not going to make any effort to help him recover things when he gets it FUBAR so badly that it won’t turn on anymore, though.  I’m fed up with his attitude when it comes to anything tech-related that he always knows better than I possibly could, by virtue of the fact that he’s worked with technology in general far longer than I have.  Nevermind that he hasn’t kept up with hardware or software in the last ten years beyond the few tools he uses for programming — and even then, he uses programming languages two or three generations old, because “that’s what he’s used to” — he’s been in tech longer, therefore he knows more.

Then he turns on his stereo full volume and queues up his country Christmas shit again, door open — everybody wants to share the joy, right?  So I checked with my mom real quick, and she says dinner won’t be until at least 4PM.  Off to my bedroom for some peace and quiet, at last… figured I’d post here then get some much-needed sleep.  Well, as I’ve been typing, those same asshole neighbors I mentioned last post have not only started their car stereos back up, but it sounds like they’re using a huge truck to run things; the engine is about as loud as their woofers.  Any chance I might have had at some shut-eye has evaporated, and I can count on several more hours of this insanity.

—————–

Well, that explains the “huge truck” part, at least.  Apparently there was a fire truck parked directly outside our house, idling, for about an hour.  This is in addition to our neighbors and their ghetto-blasters, which are still going; the fire truck left a while ago.  It’s probably a very, very good thing that nobody at our house owns any firearms, because I’d likely be serving life in prison without parole, and my folks would have new neighbors.

Been chatting via texts with Pouf a bit; it’d be great if I could just get away from this hellhole and have a fun and happy Christmas with real people with real brains and sincere emotions.

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The Yule Blog, Part 2.

Well, after posting my last entry midday on Christmas, I went back downstairs.  I decided the lesser of two evils was my family, and sat down on the couch for a bit… and finally dozed off.  That was about quarter to 3.  When I snapped awake about 5:30, I got up, looked around, and saw that everybody else had already eaten dinner — so I asked my mom why I hadn’t been invited.  She told me she had asked me if I wanted to join the family and eat; apparently I sounded awake enough when I told her “no” in my sleep that she didn’t know I hadn’t heard her.  Anyway, I ate some food, then spent some time chatting with friends online and playing Chrono Trigger on my DS. somewhere around 5 hours later, I realized I was still totally wiped out, so I headed upstairs, planning to just go to sleep.

However, things don’t always go as expected — sometimes they turn out much better!  I got into bed and felt that little fire, the Mother’s touch, just begging me to spend some time with my body.  It occurred to me that it had been at least a couple weeks since I’d had any toys out… or in for that matter.  Had to actually dig through a couple drawers to find the big one, but I got it out, got everything sufficiently moisturized, and slipped it in.  I had honestly forgoten what an absolute fucking rush it is, every time! queued up some video, and very quickly after, I had found the perfect “happy ending” to what started out as a rather lousy day.  I figured I’d just sleep with the toy in, as I’ve done a few times before; then I woke up half an hour later and realized I had been so peaceful and relaxed that I hadn’t cleaned up or turned the lights out or anything!  Fixed all that, laid down again and slept soundly for almost 4 hours before waking up again with a bit of pain — seems that having gone so long without being filled left me unprepared for a full night, so I pulled things out; couldn’t get right back to sleep, so I turned on some music, and a couple hours later drifted back to dreams.

Ten hours later, around 2:30 PM, I opened my eyes, smiled at the sunlight and the chances for joy that a new day brings, then climbed from bed and had a simple, easy day.

Saturday today now, which means Rock Band with [note: names redacted].  Really ought to get at least a little sleep before things get rolling… so that’s all for this entry.

Drop  a comment when you get a chance, let me know how your Christmas went!

I’m sick of this shit — don’t deny that you’re a waste of time.

Fuck my family. Fuck their hypocrisy, fuck their double standards, fuck their intolerance, their impatience, their arrogant religion and the condescension it teaches, and fuck the brains out of my parents for so indoctrinating my dear sister that she’s happy to squander her amazing intellect and wit on blind criticism of any reasoned thought that doesn’t fit the brainwashed mold of the narrow version of “morality” she grew up with.

For years, I’ve watched my youngest sister — seven years my junior — with admiration, awe, and at times more than a touch of envy. She’s struggled with depression, anxiety disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; I have dealt with those myself, and my respect for her is enormous with the triumphs she’s had over them — not only conquering her inner foes but working harder than most to still excel academically. She’s got an incredible capacity to store seemingly limitless facts on myriad subjects, to recall in detail any bit of knowledge at any time, and more impressive still, present that knowledge along with her wisdom and insight in a manner perfectly suited to whatever her current audience may be.

I can’t count the times over the years when I needed a concise, targeted summary (for example) of a classic literary work, or a short description of a character from Greek mythology, or a brief biography and highlights of an artist — and she was there to be my personal encyclopedic reference, complete with comparisons to other sources, witty and humor-filled side-notes, and insightful opinion on whether it would likely be worth my time to do further research… or if I honestly would bore myself silly or even suffer through the consumption of literary tripe by looking up “the real thing.”

Then there were the long talks — we’d sit for hours discussing everything under the sun, and then some; I learned many things about the world, about people and societies, about my sister, and especially about myself.

When she decided to go to college, I was so happy for her. She ended up at a college in a small Oregon town, and after the initial shock of being away from home for the first time, seemed to have settled in quite well, and seemed to be enjoying her classes.

Seemed. Until she got home for Christmas a few days ago, and one of the first things she said was to my dad, something to the effect of “I wish I had brought my textbooks so I could show you all the crazy lies they’re trying to teach us.” Then today she sat behind closed doors with him for a couple hours — I don’t know what the topic was at that point, but it was a very intense discussion… both sounded quite outraged about something.

Oh, but then they decided they needed a snack. They brought the whole thing into the kitchen, right next to where I had been enjoying some relaxing chat with my friends and having fun with a game I’ve been playing recently. When I heard my sister exclaim in outrage, “So, I just can’t believe some of the things they get away with teaching! Like, in my Interpersonal Communication class, they were teaching — get this! — social theories as if they were fact, or even legitimate, like gender and gender roles being a social construct…” Which is where my dad interrupted and finished for her, “You mean instead of eternal principles created by our loving Heavenly Father to guide His children in His sacred Plan of Happiness?”

I expected as much from him. What truly crushed me, though, was her immediate, enthusiastic shout of, “Yeah! Exactly!” I couldn’t listen any more, so I shoved my earphones in, dialed up the volume, and let the music take me. Unfortunately, every time a song faded out or ended with a second or two of silence, I was treated to more snippets of their criticism and bashing everyone who didn’t think their way. They sat in the kitchen yakking for easily an hour after they ate, too.

So my sister seems dedicated and true to her faith — there are worse things a person could cling to, and there’s always the hope that she’ll grow beyond that fearful shell one day. Maybe the fact that she still supports the same church our parents raised us in would account for her preferential treatment, I don’t know — but that brings me to my second point.

For a literal majority of my twenty-seven years, I didn’t care in the least about my personal hygiene. I seldom brushed my teeth — if I happened to notice yellow gunk covering half of my teeth, I might take 10 seconds to scrape it off with a fingernail. I went for days, sometimes, without bathing — and when I did take a “bath” I usually just filled the tub with very hot water, then drifted off to sleep for twenty minutes or so before waking, splashing some shampoo across my buzzed hair, and climbing out. I was angry and resentful of what I perceived as incessant bitching from my mom to keep myself clean; I cringed at every “Scott, would you please brush your teeth before you lie down for the night? I’m concerned that your gums are looking swollen and red.” — what I heard, from my end, was “Scott! Brush your teeth already! You’re incapable of caring for yourself, and I’m going to force you to live your life my way; forget any crazy ideas you had about personal choice!”

One day, though, I was out spending time with some very good friends. I don’t recall where, or what we might have been saying, but I suddenly realized, “I stink. I really smell awful! I can’t honestly recall the last time soap touched my skin, I haven’t brushed my teeth since who-knows-when, and — yeah — I can feel the days and days’ worth of food built up on them; that must look so gross. I’m not wearing deodorant, these jeans haven’t been washed in close to a month… Damn. If any of my friends here matched my description, I wouldn’t want to be in the same room let alone two feet away chatting and laughing as if everything were fine. This needs to change.”

So I started actually caring about my body. Now, this also happened to be about the same time I started shaving my pubic hair and my legs — so naturally I started taking longer in the bath. Where before I rarely took more than 20 minutes, and on days when I slept a little longer, maybe an entire half-hour, I was now taking an hour or more, between shaving my legs, (lots of area to cover!) my mound, (so many different directions to go over things for a smooth finish…) and more recently my arms… then actually taking the time to wash head-to-toe before shampooing my hair, which I have more of since I’m growing it out.

Cue the angry mob… I mean, angry mom. Suddenly I’m getting flak about all the time I’m wasting doing nothing in there when other people need in, and I’m preventing them from getting things done. Wait, hold up a second! Flash back fifteen years, to this same house with not three but SEVEN people sharing the same single bathroom every weekday morning, and having even more prepping to do each Sunday as we all put on our best suits, ties, and dresses for church. When I say “sharing,” I mean that quite literally — while one person washed in the bath, there was always someone else brushing their teeth, combing their hair, or just as often using the toilet. There was a fully opaque shower curtain from the floor to near the ceiling; nobody worried about seeing or being seen, and with that many people, it was just part of life when everybody needed to be ready on time.

Okay, so fast-forward to.. say, a year ago. We had four people in the house: me, my youngest sister, and my parents. My dad hops in the shower, and less than three minutes later he’s back out and drying off. How he manages to actually wash anything in that time is beyond me; for how little time he takes I wonder if he wouldn’t be just as well off with a bowl of standing water to splash around and dab off. My mom gets in there, fills the tub, and by the time she’s turned off the water, she’s somehow ready to get out. I was still clueless about keeping clean, so if I was in there, I was either just soaking or asleep. My sister… she goes in, fills the tub, and an hour or so later my mom calls in, “Dear, are you done yet?” Usually the answer is “No, not yet!” and she takes whatever time she needs before getting out. For a while, because of some things I’d overheard in hushed voices between my parents, and loud and tearful cries from my sister when she was in talking to my dad one-on-one, I thought — I hoped, really — that she had discovered the joys of masturbation, and prayed that she would come to terms with reality as opposed to the “you’ll go to Hell for being immoral!” line from her church.

Even so, I never had a problem maintaining the old family ways with her — if I needed in there to piss, or I had to get ready to leave somewhere and had massive bed-head, I’d simply knock, wait for her to make sure the curtain was fully closed, and let her call for me to enter. She didn’t seem to mind the same in return; I’d been in there bathing when she needed a fresh tampon, for example, and I wasn’t going to tell her to “just wait until I’m out, would ya?!” But we two were the only ones who could deal with that, apparently, and that leads us back to…

Present day. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my sister is home for Christmas; she’s staying about a month. I haven’t bathed in two days or so, because I’ve been trying to find times when nobody’s around for an hour or more, meaning nobody for my mom to claim I’m keeping out of the bathroom… and the chance hasn’t happened. Three or four days ago, I got in the bath around quarter past midnight, because I was feeling sick from the overpowering B.O. I was hitting myself with — perfect time of day, too, since everybody was just climbing in bed. Well, tonight about the same time my mom announced that she was going to head to bed… I asked her if she was going to be in the bathroom while getting ready for bed; I expected she was but I hadn’t been stalking her or anything and I didn’t know if she’d already been in there. She snapped back, “of course!” sounding quite offended, so in an attempt to clarify, I mentioned that I’d hoped to take a bath, but I’d been waiting until no one would need in — thereby avoiding the heated issue of inconveniencing the rest of the family. Well, if it’s not one thing, it’s another, and she gripes, “I really don’t want you getting in the bathroom this time of night. There are so many times during the day when the bathroom is free for a half-hour…”

I was pretty fed up by then, and pointed out — in quite a rude tone, I admit — “Exactly! Free for a half-hour!” and walked off to my computer. Sat there and tried to vent to RPJ… that was a bit awkward, since I strongly suspect he didn’t want to hear all about me shaving my legs yet again, or any of the “Boo-hoo! My life sucks!” manner I used to present things. My mom went to bed, and of course so did I — another day of itchy stubble, another day of stench, another day of oily, matted hair, all because if I take more than 30 minutes, I’ve broken the statistical gremlin’s calculator that says on average, somebody might have needed in there, whether anyone actually did or not.

And now, at nearly half past three in the morning, our asshole neighbors across the street are sitting with their ghetto-blasters cranking out either the local FM station of Mexican music, or some of their own CDs of the same style. Just yesterday I was sitting in our living room at about 11:30 AM, with headphones on and my music turned up; I couldn’t figure out, at first, why the beat kept sounding “off” until I realized that I was not only hearing an extra bassline, but feeling the floor shake with every thump. Paused my track and made a note of the time… couldn’t enjoy my music, so I just sat there trying not to strangle someone. 45 minutes later, I tried getting up and walking around to let off some steam, but it wasn’t helping when nowhere in the house was safe from the continuing thump-thump-thump of the bass. I went in and mentioned my frustration to my mom, who stated quite calmly, “well, it’s not as if it happens very often, and… y’know, sometimes people just are that way! It’s not as if I can do anything about it.”

I said, “Actually, you could give me the non-emergency police number…”

“Why? It’s not as if they would do anything, even if they could — which they can’t. Just wait it out,” was her reply.

“Fine,” I caved, “but I will tell you that it does happen often — and for much too long at a time. Just because you’re asleep or out shopping doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

What do you guys think? Do they have the right and the expectation to be able to broadcast their music choice into every house on the block for hours at a time? Does it matter or make a difference whether it’s three or four people standing by their car chatting over the music in the middle of the morning for two hours, or twenty people yelling across the yard, screaming at their kids, and blasting their tunes for six or seven hours from 7 PM on until the middle of the night? Is there anything the cops can do, and do they have any obligation to respond to a non-emergency call of that nature? Do I have any right or ability to make that call to the police, if I’m not a homeowner here, even if I’m legally an adult?

I’m not expecting any valid legal advice here, but just an informal survey to see what people think. Leave a comment, say whatever.

And forgive me if I’ve developed the supervillian superpower of “Super-knockout body gas!” next time I see some of you…

Go figure…..

So, leave it to typical me to get totally worked up about something… anything… everything — only to find out that there was nothing there to begin with.

Anyway, after being scared out of my skull about what could be getting blood into my semen, being afraid to fap because I didn’t want to even have the chance of having to see pink instead of white… I said to myself, “Wow.  The house is empty — for several hours at least.  And I’m sitting here living my life in fear, again… no, still…  Fuck this. I’ve got to masturbate sometime between now and February, since I’m certainly not going to go without for that long.  May as well do this now.”

Well, got things going (fuck, the weather’s been cold lately!) and after about 30 minutes, I was done… everything white, everything just fine.  Not a trace or even a hint of red, pink, whatever.  Quite a relief, obviously.  Spent some time snoozing on the couch — didn’t have anything else to really do.  Got a text a little while later from Pouf asking a question for a survey her friend was doing, and after determining the answer, was at a point where I was ready to go at it again — thanks bunches, Pouf!  Was great to not only have the chance to, but be able to masturbate twice within the space of a few hours, and I wouldn’t have even considered trying if it wasn’t for that survey. :D  Again, cream — no strawberries, thank you.

I’m going to give things a week or so and keep watching, but after 7 days if there’s no more blood, I’m going to cancel my wang appointment (appointment with Dr. Wang, that is…) and just move on with my life.

Oh, the drama…

I just *love* waiting! (Go, sarcasm…)

Great.  So this morning I called to make a doctor appointment.  They asked if I needed to be seen today — hellz yeah!  Okay, there’s an appointment available this afternoon, but you’ll have to drive to our other office 10 miles away, is that a problem?  Nope.  Well worth it, and so off we went (my mom drove me.)  Got there, and the typical waiting around shit… expected, and no sweat.  Got in and waiting some more in the exam room, and the nurse asked if I could leave a urine sample — again, fine; I was expecting as much and came ready for it.  Left the sample, waited again, finally the PA came in (my actual doctor wasn’t available today) and went over things briefly:  No, there’s no blood in your urine, (no shit, Sherlock!  I told you that multiple times already, not that it mattered…) are you sexually active? (No, not yet…) Would you like to be tested for common sexually transmitted shit? (Don’t see any need right now.)  Okay, I’m going to check your lungs and refer you to a urologist.  We’ll also send your urine sample to the lab, to have it fully tested.  (Fair enough.  That’s it?)  Yep.  Take this paper to the front desk, and everything’s peachy.

Well, so I thought.  Got to the front desk, the receptionist told me where the urologists office was (humorous side note — the urologist, his name is Dr. Wang.  How cliché can you get?) and wished me a good day.  All’s well, right?  Got out to the car, and two minutes down the road I realize that I didn’t get any paper from them telling me what I needed to do, nothing documenting that I was being referred, no instruction that Dr. Wang would call me… nothing.  My mom was kind enough to drop me by Dr. Wang’s office, which actually happened to be on our way home, and I stopped in to ask the receptionist there what I should do.  After repeating the entire story twice, she finally says, “Oh.  You need to make an appointment, then.  You said Dr. Petersen referred you?” (Uhhhh… no?  Never said “Doctor” anything, and I don’t know where you pulled Petersen from except maybe your ass…) — that’s what I thought.  What I said was, “No, I saw Margie, the P.A., and…” which is where she cut me off and told me that she could “squeeze me in” next February, how about the 9th at 8AM?

Not a chance in hell that I’m getting up that early, not to mention forcing my parents to get up even earlier so they can be ready to drive me.  Asked if there was anything later in the day, which of course there wasn’t.  Next afternoon appointment was February 11.  All right, so I scheduled the appointment… and what?  I’m just supposed to ignore the blood every time I come between now and then?  You expect me to just… I dunno, just stop masturbating for two months?  I don’t exactly look forward to being all bitchy and stressed because I can’t get off, but I certainly don’t want to *literally* see red every time I get red-hot.

So basically I’ve accomplished a grand total of Jack Shit.  Way to go, spectacular “free-thanks-to-the-taxpayers” health care… but you get what you pay for, yeah?

Really pissed at this whole situation, and I don’t know what exactly I’m going to do about it — and it’ll have to be me doing something if anything’s going to happen, since nobody else seems to give a rat’s ass about it.

Please, take a minute or two and chip in your two cents… support, criticism, mockery and derision — just leave a note and a piece of your mind.

Thanks.

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